"I am, and I always will be, a student of my instrument," says master timbalero Jimmy Delgado.
In Jimmy Delgado's 25-year + career in music, he has performed and recorded with Harry Belafonte, Tito Puente, Johnny Pacheco, The Bronx Horns, Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Lionel Hampton, J J Johnson, Steve Turre, and the Fania All-Stars. Jimmy is currently working on solo material which promises to feature his creative and musical timbale style.
As a kid, Delgado listened to Ray Barretto albums and was influenced by the works of Orestes Vilato ("still one of the greatest timbaleros on earth"). At fourteen he began timbale lessons at the East Harlem Music School; at nineteen he was playing with such renowned artists as Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, and Ray Barretto. In the early 1980s Jimmy received his first gold record -- for his timbale solo on the Kurtis Blow hit song, "These Are the Breaks."
Delgado can be heard playing full percussion on a recent CD release by Tipica Novel, a charanga band ("charanga" is a style of instrumentation that consists of a rhythm section, strings, flute, piano, and bass). Delgado's own concert show band, "Jimmy Delgado and the Master Timbaleros," features Orestes Vilato, Endeel Dueno, Mike Collazo, and Nicky Marrero, with Adalberto Santiago on vocals.
Based in New York City, Delgado has enjoyed a long teaching career at the Drummers' Collective, in New York City public schools, and at his alma mater, the East Harlem Music School. He acquired his first LP instrument in the early 1970s -- a gold Prestige Mambo Cowbell. The legendary durability, combined with solid sound, of LP products is only part of the reason, Delgado says, why he continues to use LP gear.